Business travel can be bittersweet. Bitter for the obvious reason of having to leave my family. Sweet because I can finally get some time to myself (should I feel guilty for needing a “Mommy moment”?).
As I am preparing to travel for work I feel my blood pressure rising as I try to think of everything my children might need while I am gone. I need to wash several loads of clothes to make sure there is an ample supply. I need to let their teachers know that “Auntie” will pick them up in the car pool line. I need to make sure there is enough (of the right kinds of ) food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I need to…the list goes on and on. And that’s just preparing for the kids. What about getting myself ready for travel? Aaaaaaaagh! How I often wish I could be that mom who carefully laid out all of her children’s clothes for each day and prepared freezer meals for each day that could simply be reheated when needed. But, it ain’t gonna happen…not today anyway.
Here are some tips to take (some of) the stress out of preparing for business travel:
1. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN. I have come to realize that sufficient planning is necessary to manage the neverending responsibilities of children and work. Unfortunately, I can’t always find the time to fine tune my plans. If I took the time to write down everything I needed to do to get ready to leave the kiddos I think life would be a little easier.
2. ASK FOR HELP. Why, as moms, do we feel like we have to do everything? I know why. Because we often want things done a certain way. But, sometimes we just need to ask for help. Whether it be from hubby, parents/in-laws, family or friends, we need to reach out. We don’t have to go it alone.
3. LET THEM FIGURE IT OUT. If your kids are school age, like mine, they can pick out their own clothes. Hubby or your children’s caretaker (while you’re gone) can plan for and prepare dinner. Don’t take all the responsibility on yourself. Let others figure it out. It won’t be the end of the world if Junior’s shoes don’t match his outfit or if Kid Flash doesn’t eat the vegetable that was prepared for dinner. Kids are resilient. As long as everyone is in one piece when you get back I would say the business trip planning was a success.
So, you see, we can eliminate much of the stress we encounter for business travel if we just relax, relate and release (for all my “Different World” fans).
How do you prepare yourself and your family for business travel?
Until next time…
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Philippians 4:6 NIV)